Tag: basketball wagering blog
In a best of seven game series all it takes is for one of the contenders to win 4 games. The Pacers were playing at the Madison Square Garden, going on against a team that was against the ropes. Let´s consider that down 3-1 for the series the Knicks were 0-12 in playoffs games in that same scenario. This time around, however, the Knicks played their home court advantage card right, and behind the offensive prowess of their star Carmelo Anthony, and his 28 points and 6 rebounds, they managed to take a 85-75 win at home. It was not a pretty game by any stretch of the imagination, truth be said, the injured and somewhat shorthanded Pacers had to deal with a couple of absentees and some foul trouble. But they managed to cope well, despite not closing the series in game 5. The Knicks are not playing better, that´s clear. But they are playing harder, and under these circumstances, that might be just what they need to keep on winning.
Now, next game will be played on Saturday at Indiana, and the Knicks are going to have to do all they can to win this one on the road. If they do managed to return from a 3-1 deficit, win on Saturday and return the series to the Madison Squre Garden on Monday for game seven, and beat the Pacers once again, they would become only the 9th team in NBA history to come back from such a deficit. Nnow, in order to get that result, the Knicks will have to rely heavily on a brilliant performance from their bench. Last night the Knicks got plenty of production from their reserves J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland whom each had 13 points.
The Knicks showed some grit, plenty of courage to make up for some not too good basketball skills. It didn’t matter much, right now they will go ahead and take a win however they may. “I was totally impressed because we met the challenge,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said to the press in the postgame conference. “I think as a coach you come into games like this and you want to see who’s going to step up and make plays, and I thought we did that tonight. We were the better team in terms of doing that.”
The Pacers got plenty of production from their starts. Paul George would go on to finish the night with 23 points, six rebounds and six assists. They had to cope with the absence of without point guard George Hill because of a concussion. Playing without their main play creator would cost the Pacers greatly. Without Hill, the playmaking was left to D.J. Agustin, who, to be fair, finished the night with 12 points but had no assists. The team as a whole had to share the ball a little too much and they ended up making 19 very costly turnovers. David West had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who are trying to reach the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2004.
I guess they owed it to their fans, particularly after the tragedy that has hit the city of Boston this month. Facing a 3-0 deficit in the series and what most probably would end up been a first round sweep, the Boston Celtics came out with all they had to defend their home court and force a game 5. Paul Pierce guided the Celtics efforts with a brilliant performance that included 27 points, 43 rebounds and 3 assists. Jeff Green chipped in with 26 points and 6 rebounds. Veteran center Kevin Garnet finished the night with a solid performance that included 13 points and 17 rebounds.
But it was Jason Terry, the Celtics shooting guard, still probably feels a bit of pain from the elbow to the face he got on game three from the Knicks own shooting guard J.R. Smith. He took it personally, and he made sure that the Knicks paid for that dirty shot. Terry finished the night with 18 points and 4 assists, including the final 9 points in overtime to give the Celtics a brilliant 97-90 win at home over the New York Knicks.
J.R Smith got a one-game suspension by the league, and the Knicks could have quite clearly used some of his shooting abilities last night. Carmelo Anthony, as usual, guided the Knicks effort with 36 points. It was up to Raymond Felton to cover up for the lack of Smith and he gave the Knicks another 27 points. It wasn’t, however, a good overall game. New York made just 28.9 percent of its shots in the first half as Boston took a 54-35 lead. They managed to come back in the later part of the third quarter. The team rallied from a complicated 20-point deficit to tie the game and force Boston into overtime. But that was exactly when Jason Terry got his groove on, and things started to happen for the veteran team. “It wasn’t really the elbow,” Terry said in the postgame press conference. “It was more (like) this is it. I mean, the season’s over. You can leave it all out here tonight and go home for a long summer or you can live to play another day.”
Game 5 will be played in the Madison Square Garden in New York. The Celtics are still alive, but it is a long shot for this squad to make it into the second round. The Celtics still have a huge deficit in trying to become the first team to win after trailing a series 3-0 in the NBA playoffs. Certainly the odds are not in their favor, but so is the New York Knicks’s most recent history in the playoffs. As a matter of fact, New York is trying to win their first playoff series in 13 years. J.R. Smith will be back for the next game, and it’s unclear whether that will make a huge difference overall. One thing is for sure: the Celtics are going to need another performance like this from Terry and Green in order to give both Pierce and Garnett the backup they need to keep this squad rolling.
The LA Clippers have had two games to reach their 50th win of the season, a franchise record to say the least, but they have failed to reach that benchmark so far. A team that has been known this season for it’s particularly though defense, had very little to stop a team that found a key to break open that lock: open up the defense and spread the ball. The Houston Rockets were playing without their best scorer for the third time this season, as he is suffering from a sprained ankle. You would expect the Rockets to have a difficult time finding the basket without a player that is averaging 26 points per game this season, the 5th best mark in the league, but they did just fine without James Harden. As a matter of fact, the Rockets took a whole another approach and spread the love. Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parson and Francisco Garcia finished the game with 15 points each while Omek Asik added 13 points for the night to take a 98-81 win over the LA Clippers at the Toyota Center in Houston.
The game could had gone either way until the Rockets, at 40-33 for the season, got the ball in the third quarter and broke lose. Last year’s hottest NBA sensation, Jeremy Lin found in Chandler Parsons his perfect crime accomplice and together they combined for 13 points in the third quarter alone. The Rockets went on a scoring spree and managed to outscore Los Angeles 30-13 to open up a big gap and never look back. The rally gave Houston a 22-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and there was simply no way to cut this one down. Perhaps that’s exactly why the Clippers head coach, Vinny del Negro, though to himself, enough is enough sat down Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler and Willie Green for the entire fourth quarter. After all, there was no point risking injury in a game that they were not going to win and he opted to leave only Chris Paul in the game.
Sure enough the Clippers were playing their fourth game in 5 days. Del Negro was very displeased by his team performance, and said the schedule was in now way a valid excuse for how poorly his team played. “We were terrible, our effort was terrible, our attitude was terrible and our urgency was terrible,” Del Negro said in the postgame press conference. “They know exactly how I feel, and they didn’t say much. That’s not what we’re about.” Chris Paul guided the visiting team with 19 points, seven assists and three steals, but it was clear that he was not pleased either with his own work or that of his teammates. The thing is that, no matter where you looked at it, the Rockets were clearly more dominant. Consider the following in the way of example. The home team outscored the Clippers 48-26 in the paint, and as is that was not enough, their bench outscored Los Angeles’ reserves 39-31. Carlos Delfino scored 11 points and Patrick Beverley added nine for Houston coming off the bench.
I might be a little biased towards the Boston Celtics. I guess that I have a soft spot for the underdog and this squad’s dynamics are certainly entertaining. On the one hand, this team is guided by the experience and charisma of two veterans such as Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. It really is a shame that they couldn’t make things work and Ray Allen left for Miami Heat at the beginning of this season. Anyhow, this veteran squad was fueled by the youth and acrobatic style of the All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who had to undergo reconstructive surgery on his ACL and will be out for the rest of the season. Despite losing their point guard, the Celtics relied on a quite inexperienced and young Avery Bradley who came up to fill in Rondo’s shoes and so far has been nothing short of great. At 34-27 for the season, there is certainly plenty of space for improvement still for this squad, but I feel that despite all the hardships, this squad could very well make some noise in the postseason.
But winning this game at the Boston Garden over the Atlanta Hawks didn’t come easy. On the one hand, the Celtics were able to hold their ground for the better part of the game, yet in the last quarter, they got a bit messy, sloppy if you will, with the ball handling and the Falcons reacted and managed to open turn around a 12-point deficit with little over 6 seconds to go in the last quarter, and forced the Celtics into overtime. And it wasn’t an easy for Boston once we got there. The Celtics had to go into overdrive mode and relied heavily on their fine-tuned shooting behind the arc to take a 107-102 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Jason Terry would score the go-ahead three pointer in overtime while both Paul Pierce and Jeff Green all shot three-pointers in OT to take this important win at home. But ultimately it was their defense who held the ground and by keeping the Hawks scoreless from the field in the last 2:14 of the game they were able to open up the gap. Paul Pierce finshed the game with 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Kevin Garnett chipped in with 17 points and 8 assists and Jason Terry scored 19 points coming off the bench. Just to give you an idea how dominant the Celtics secondary was over the Hawks, Terry alone scored 11 more points than the rest of the Atlanta Hawks reserves alone.
“We just continue to fight. In the stretch run of the season, every game is crucial,” Pierce said in the postgame press conference. “Between the fourth and eight spot, it’s a difference between 1 or 2 games so all these games are big and we understand the sense of urgency.” It was a good game by the Hawks. Don’t get me wrong, these guys finished the nigh with good number. For instance, Josh Smith scored 32 points and Jeff Teague had 26 points and nine assists. They even managed to outscore the Celtics 48-32 in the paint. And yet, two very costly turnovers by Smith in the last 60 seconds of the game would be too much for this crew.